Get the jab or lose your job? Federal vaccine mandates set to roll out, Oklahoma AG files lawsuits fighting them

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma filed another lawsuit Friday against the federal vaccine mandates that are set to roll out in the coming months.

It’s a “get the jab or lose your job” predicament.

Friday, however, Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the mandates that are set to affect tens of millions of U.S. workers. This is the state’s second lawsuit against the requirement for businesses with more than 100 employees to either mandate vaccines or have employees undergo weekly testing.

An attorney told KFOR this OSHA mandate is going to be a lot for employers to handle, barring any lawsuit rulings shooting it down. The attorney said two dates will be the key over the next couple months. Meanwhile, Loves Travel Stops also weighed in on the situation.

“This is going to be a lot on their plate,” said Mary Snyder, an attorney who does not represent Love’s.

Employers are bracing for Dec. 5 and Jan. 4 as the Biden administration rolls out the mandates. The administration released a 490-page emergency temporary standard through OSHA, or the occupational safety and health administration.

“By Dec. 5, you have to have a bunch of policies in place,” Snyder said.

A healthcare worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

By Dec. 5, which is only a month away, employers with more than 100 workers will have to set policies for vaccine requirements. They will also have to set policies for testing options and anti-intimidation and anti-discrimination provisions.

“You also have to have polled all of your employees and learn who is vaccinated and who is not,” Snyder said.

Jan. 4 is the deadline for workers to have both doses if using Pfizer or Moderna, or just one dose if using the Johnson & Johnson jab. If not, they may not be considered vaccinated and have to undergo testing starting that week.

“Employers are just working through it,” Snyder said.

Gov. Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor readily filed a lawsuit. Stitt said in a statement Friday that he’s proud to have the attorney general and legislature fighting against the measure while adding that “…this mandate will not stand.”

“We have no way of knowing whether a court will stop these from going into effect,” Snyder said.

Oklahoma-based Loves Travel Stops also weighed in on the situation Friday. The business told KFOR they are reviewing the OSHA mandate and will “…continue to comply with local, state and federal mandates as they’re implemented.”

“Employers can’t wait until the last minute because there’s too much to do,” Snyder said.

O’Connor’s office released a statement of his own on the situation Friday as well. It can be read below:

Attorney General John O’Connor today partnered with six other attorneys general to file a petition before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit challenging the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for private sector employees.

The coalition asks the court to review the emergency temporary standard issued by the Biden Administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which requires the vaccination of tens of millions of citizens.

“In Oklahoma, President Biden will not determine how an individual makes healthcare decisions for themselves and their families,” General O’Connor said. “The Biden Administration continuously uses federal overreach to strip away Americans’ constitutional rights and I will continue to defend the rule of law against this absurd abuse of power.”

Despite warnings from attorneys general across the country about the legality of a vaccine mandate, the Biden administration issued the emergency temporary standard through OSHA today.

In their petition, the coalition challenges the legality of the Biden Administration’s emergency temporary standard and asks the Sixth Circuit to review the validity of the mandate, arguing that OSHA lacks statutory and constitutional authority to issue it.

The coalition argues that the power to issue emergency temporary standards was delegated to OSHA by Congress for the express purpose of protecting employees from grave dangers posed by exposure to substances or physically harmful toxins encountered at work.

However, that authority does not extend to risks that are equally prevalent at work and in society at large. Just last year, OSHA refused to issue a nationwide emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 because “COVID-19 is a community-wide hazard that is not unique to the workplace.”

The coalition also contends that the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate prohibits sovereign states from enacting and enforcing their own policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OSHA’s mandate takes away that power from the states and prevents policymakers from enacting policies that are beneficial to their respective states.

The attorneys general ask the court to halt President Biden’s vaccine mandate until the court rules on the legitimacy of the rule.

“We are thankful for the support of the legislature to bring this lawsuit on behalf of the State and the governor,” General O’Connor said. “With their support, we can protect hardworking Oklahomans from this reckless and unconstitutional federal overreach.”

Attorney General O’Connor joined the lawsuit alongside attorneys general from Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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